The misrepresentation of our food supply is becoming the bully on the playground. Marketing labels and misinformation are making us feel guilty about our food choices. Farmers are being shamed over their farming practices, leading to distrust. Neuroscience and psychology shows our brains are being manipulated and instilling a cycle of fear.
Why is this happening? People are disconnected from the farm.
"They still trust farmers, but they don’t trust the practices of farming. So, with the disconnect comes distrust, and with the distrust comes more fear and the bullies leverage that fear," says Payn. "For example, people want the perfect story of food. There is no perfect story of food, there’s no perfect way to farm just as there’s no right food."
People have the right to ask questions. The challenge is to help them understand how food is raised and how to decipher fact from fiction.
"Helping them know the science, know the source, or know the system is the recommendation that I make in Food Bullying so that they can critically evaluate those claims that are out there," she says. "At the same time, I would strongly suggest that farmers work to provide context to the practices that they use on farms. And by context, I mean explaining the why behind why we do what we do."